‘I know we’re going to push each other’: 49ers rookie Trey Lance excited to learn from Jimmy Garoppolo

Apr 30, 2021 at 5:51 AM--


That's a word that can be used to describe the quarterback situation in San Francisco. The 49ers plan to enter the 2021 season with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starter. However, they surrendered a haul of future draft picks to move up to the No. 3 spot this year. The team selected quarterback Trey Lance of North Dakota State on Thursday night. He will eventually replace Garoppolo.

Yes, that could be an awkward situation in the quarterback room.

Lance doesn't see it as awkward, though. He sees it as an opportunity. Sitting behind Garoppolo for a season is an opportunity for the young quarterback to learn from a veteran who is very comfortable with the offense. It's an opportunity to study behind a quarterback who is 26-9 as a starter in the league, when healthy.

"I'm really looking forward to getting to know Jimmy, being able to spend some time with him, and, obviously, he's done it," Lance shared with NBC Sports Bay Area after hearing his named called on Thursday night. "... playing in a Super Bowl two years ago, there's not too many rookie quarterbacks that get to go into a situation with a roster like they have there."

The first thing Garoppolo did when Lance was drafted was ask the 49ers for the rookie's phone number. He wanted to personally reach out to the young quarterback and welcome him to the team.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he anticipates Garoppolo being an excellent mentor for Lance. Should that develop into a competition for both players, so be it. It will only bring out the best in each of them.

"I want Jimmy to be here, and I want this kid to be brought along," Shanahan said. "I want to see how he does. And if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I'd be excited about that, if he showed he was ready for it and stuff. But we know where Jimmy is at."

Not too many rookies selected at the top of the draft end up going to teams with competitive rosters. Those slots are typically reserved for the worst teams in the NFL, so this is a unique situation for Lance.

"I'm super blessed, like I said, just to be able to do this," Lance continued. "And I'm super excited to learn from Jimmy, get to know him, become close to him, and, obviously, whatever my role is, I'm going to embrace it. I know we're going to push each other every single day, but number one, I'm just super excited to get there and learn from him."

Lance will be in Santa Clara today to meet with his new head coach, Kyle Shanahan, and general manager John Lynch, and to tour his new NFL home. He wasn't entirely sure where he would end up until receiving that call from San Francisco, moments before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced his name to the public.

"I just love it. It's been fun," Lance said of the whole process. "I'm ecstatic right now just to be able to know where I'm going to be at and be able to get there and learn."

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